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Working from home is one of those things which sounds like a dream, getting to work from your bed, not even having to get dressed for a day of work and you don’t even have to leave the house at all if you don’t want to. Communication doesn’t even need to happen in person, which is excellent for those days in which small talk doesn’t seem possible.
Thanks to 2020 being the year of staying at home, more of us can work from the comfort of our own home. Sadly, this doesn’t always turn out as good as it sounds. Especially if you’re a person who enjoys a lot of social interaction, but working with what you have, working from home can be a positive experience, you need to get into a routine and work at it from there.
Whether this is a permanent change or whether you’ve gone self-employed recently getting used to working from home often starts as a challenge. If you are a freelancer, it is a whole different ball game. You pick your hours for the most part, which, whilst being a blessing, can also be somewhat of a curse. With motivation being of the elements of freelancing that most of us struggle with. So to keep you motivated throughout the day, there are many tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Make a plan:
One of the things I’ve found most helpful when working from home for myself is writing a list of the things which I need to do on a sticky note and then crossing them out throughout the day. I like to make a plan of what I need to do, and at what times too, like similarly to being in a workplace there are set times to do set things for most of us. Like having breaks and going to meetings. It can be easy to find yourself not doing a lot when you’re working alone. You can find fantastic desk planners online, which are great for this. I always find having one in front of me allows me to see what is left to do for the day.
Take regular breaks:
I can’t say this enough, taking breaks when working from home is super important, whether you’re a fan of going for a walk or grabbing your yoga mat and taking some to do some relaxing away from the screen. Often most of us who work at home forget to move away from the desk for hours on end. By taking a break and doing some form of exercise, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take the next lot of work you need to do.
This one is easier said than done, especially if you live in a household with lots of people around. I don’t have this issue. However, my phone does give me a constant stream of contact with the ‘outside world’, and as much as I enjoy Twitter and Instagram, they’re one of the biggest distractions on my phone. I find not having my phone around when I’m working makes it easier to get things done. I always have my phone on silent, so this doesn’t distract me either. I’d recommend putting your phone out of sight, you know what they say, out of sight, out of mind. I allow myself to use my phone during breaks, but for the rest of the time, I try to have it as far away as possible. If I do have it near me for a particular reason, I have it face down; there is nothing more distracting than the constant flashes of notifications.
Set yourself working hours:
I hold my hands up to this one and admit I am not good with setting work hours. I’ll work at random times in the day and then go back to things a few hours later. Allowing yourself to figure out when your most productive is a good start. I know the evenings are when I work best, so for me, it does often make more sense to work through the evening instead of early mornings. But deciding how many hours you are going to work that day is a great way to split your day up and keep to the hours you’ve set. That will also allow you to fit breaks in around those hours.
Create the ultimate working space:
Out of the list, this is one of the tips I think are most important to follow as it can affect your mental health if you don’t have the correct working environment. Working from your bed can be a treat now and again. But doing it all of the time can result in bad habits. When I am in bed working, it makes me feel tired, makes me ache, and I can confirm I am a lot less productive. If you’ve got a spare room, turn it into your own office space. There is nothing worse than spending all day and all night in your bedroom without really anytime out. Plus if you’re creating yourself a workspace, it means you need new homewares and stationery. Who doesn’t need an adorable notebook or Pastel Cat Highlighters, amirite?